The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Joseph F. Smith

"And what is the Priesthood? It is nothing more nor less than the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and act legitimately; not assuming that authority, not borrowing it from generations that are dead and gone, but authority that has been given in this day in which we live by ministering angels and spirits from above, direct from the presence of Almighty God, who have come to the earth in our day and restored the Priesthood to the children of men, by which they may baptize for the remission of sins and lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and by which they can remit sin, with the sanction and blessing of Almighty God." — "Conference Report," October 1904, p. 5

"While it may be said, and it is in a measure true, that we are but a handful in comparison to our fellow men in the world, yet we may be compared with the leaven of which the Savior spoke, that will eventually leaven the whole world." — "Conference Report," April 1909, p. 2

"When the Lord wants to reveal something new to us, He knows the channel through which to reveal it; He knows that He can do it, and He will do it in His own way and time, and through the proper channels of the Priesthood. Don't forget that!" — "Conference Report," October 1909, p. 125

"I want to state here that which is in my heart. You may call it a prophecy if you will. Those who are and continue to be enrolled in the book of the law of the Lord--on the tithing records of the Church--will continue to prosper, their substance will increase, and they will have added unto them in greater abundance everything that they need;..." — "Conference Report," April 1901, p. 70

"Let us guard ourselves so that there may not come into our souls a single drop of bitterness, by which our whole being might be corroded and poisoned with anger, with hatred, envy and malice, or any sort of evil. We should be free from all these evil things, that we may be filled with the love of God, the love of truth, the love of our fellow-men, that we may seek to do good unto all men all the days of our lives, and above all things be true to our covenants in the gospel of Jesus Christ." — "Conference Report," April 1909, p. 6

"I desire to say that Mormonism, as it is called, is still, as always, nothing more and nothing less than the power of God unto salvation, unto every soul that will receive it honestly and will obey it. I say to you, my brethren, sisters, and friends, that all Latter-day Saints, wherever you find them, provided they are true to their name, to their calling and to their understanding of the Gospel, are people who stand for truth and for honor, for virtue and for purity of life, for honesty in business and in religion, people who stand for God and for His righteousness, for God's truth and His work in the earth, which aims for the salvation of the children of men, for their salvation from the evils of the world, from the pernicious habits of wicked men and from all those things that degrade, dishonor or destroy; or tend to lessen the vitality, and life, the honor, and godliness among the people of the earth." — "Conference Report," April 1910, p. 5

"The spirit of the gospel leads men to righteousness; to love their fellowmen and to labor for their salvation and exaltation; it inspires them to do good and not evil, to avoid even the appearance of sin, much more to avoid sin itself. This is indeed the spirit of the gospel, which is the spirit of this latter-day work, and also the spirit that possesses those who have embraced it; and the aim and purpose of this work is the salvation, the exaltation, and the eternal happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come." Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," Apr. 1909, p. 4

"Amidst the greatest learning that the world has ever seen, we have seen the greatest perishing the world has ever seen, and our greatest learning has been utilized for the destruction of God's children. 'But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.' Again, no man receiveth the fulness of truth-no man may be truly educated-except he keep the commandments of our Father in heaven." — Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1946, p. 62

"What should we do before partaking of this sacrament? We should look into our souls and see whether we have any unforgiveness there toward any of our fellow creatures, especially toward any of the household of faith. Have you any bitterness in your heart toward your brother or your sister, or any of mankind? If you have, remove that bitterness and repent of the weakness by which that bitterness has found a resting place within you, and remove it from your heart. Harbor it not in your spirit; for it is evil. It corrupts us to allow the spirit of hatred or animosity to find a resting-place in our souls. Therefore we should not partake of this sacrament with such feelings in our souls. We should forgive those who trespass against us. We should make peace with our brother and with our sister and with all mankind, and establish peace in our hearts, so that when we come to the house of God to partake of the sacrament we may do it with clean hands and pure hearts before the Lord." — Joseph F. Smith, July 16, 1893, "Collected Discourses, 1987-1992," 5 vols., Stuy, Brian H., ed., Burbank, California, and Woodland Hills, Utah: B.H.S. Publishing

"Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence. If we can lend a helping hand to the oppressed, if we can aid those who are despondent and in sorrow, if we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it, it is an essential part of our religion to do it." - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April, 1918, p. 4

"Brethren, there is too little religious devotion, love, and fear of God, in the home; too much worldliness, selfishness, indifference, and lack of reverence in the family, or it never would exist so abundantly on the outside. Then, the home is what needs reforming. Try today, and tomorrow, to make a change in your home." - Joseph F. Smith, "Worship in the Home," Improvement Era, December 1903, p. 138

"Jesus taught the doctrine that we should pray for those that despitefully use us; that we should love our enemies; that we should do good to them that do evil to us; that we should not return evil for evil, but good for evil. There is no particular credit due to any person who returns good for good. Even the publicans and sinners did this, but it is somewhat difficult to return good for evil. Nevertheless to do so was enjoined by the commandments of the Lord Jesus. We are to love our enemies; do good to them that hate and persecute us; and when we are persecuted, persecute not again; when we are derided, deride not in return; if we are injured, seek not to injure those who injure us; that which is required at our hands is to establish peace on earth and good will to man. Hence, when we forget the object of our calling and step out of the path of duty to return blow for blow, to inflict evil for evil, to persecute because we may be persecuted, we forget the injunction of the Lord and the covenants we have made with God, to keep His commandments." - Joseph F. Smith, "Journal of Discourses, 26 vols." [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 23:285-286

"So I come to the conclusion that the principal thing about tithe paying is obedience to the law, and that more good will come to us through that obedience than to anybody else. We may be worth our tens of thousands, and pay an honest tithing on our income, making our tithing a large amount; yet the good that will come to ourselves by being obedient to the law of God will be far greater in the end than the good which our substance may do to the poor. He is more blessed who giveth alms than is he who receiveth them. The trouble is, when a man becomes rich he at once begins to feel too poor to be obedient to the laws of God. Riches make men poor when it comes to dealing with the Almighty." - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1899, Afternoon Session

"Will this time ever be? While surrounded by so many imperfections, clothed in mortality, and subject to the weakness and failings of the flesh, will the time ever be when we as a people, with such glorious promises, privileges and rights, and with such inestimable blessings, shall enjoy the Spirit of God to the exclusion of every other influence that exists? Will we ever be able to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord, while in mortality, to such a degree that we can govern ourselves and not give way one moment to an evil thought or passion. I do not know; but this I do know, that we now have all that is necessary to enable us to attain to this perfection in the truth and the knowledge of God. If we have it not now, I do not believe we ever will. 'Why,' inquires one, 'what have we now?' We have the promise of Almighty God that he will give his Spirit to guide, strengthen and assist every individual to accomplish all the good in his heart, if he will only come up to the standard he has established." - Joseph F. Smith, "Journal of Discourses," 26 vols., 11:308

"It is an important duty resting upon the Saints who vote to sustain the authorities of the Church, to do so not only by the lifting of the hand, the mere form, but in deed and in truth. There never should be a day pass but all the people composing the Church should lift up their voices in prayer to the Lord to sustain His servants who are placed to preside over them.... These men should have the faith of the people to sustain them in the discharge of their duties, in order that they may be strong in the Lord." - "Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith," p.210

"The essence of true membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is this—that you and I, independent of every other person in the world, will live our religion and do our duty, no matter what other people do. As Joshua expressed himself in olden times, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' (Joshua 24:15.)  The true measure of our standing in this Church is that we will do right, no matter who else does right or does wrong. Therefore let us seek to get that spirit upon us and live by that rule." - Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith, p.416

"Fix in your minds noble thoughts, cultivate elevated themes, let your aims and aspirations be high. Be in a certain degree independent; to the degree of usefulness, helpfulness and self-reliance, though no human beings can be said truly to be independent of their fellow beings, and there is no one reckless enough to deny our utter dependence on our heavenly Father. Seek to be educated in the highest meaning of the term; get the most possible service out of your time, your body and brains, and let all your efforts be directed into honorable channels, that no effort shall be wasted, and no labor result in loss or evil." - "Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith," p.313

"I would not like to say one thing, or express a thought that would grieve the heart of Joseph, or of Brigham, or of John, or of Wilford, or Lorenzo, or any of their faithful associates in the ministry. Sometimes the Lord expands our vision from this point of view and this side of the veil, that we feel and seem to realize that we can look beyond the thin veil which separates us from that other sphere. If we can see by the enlightening influence of the Spirit of God and through the words that have been spoken by the holy prophets of God, beyond the veil that separates us from the spirit world, surely those who have passed beyond, can see more clearly through the veil back here to us than it is possible for us to see to them from our sphere of action. I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. We begin to realize more and more fully, as we become acquainted with the principles of the Gospel, as they have been revealed anew in this dispensation, that we are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors, to our friends and associates and co-laborers who have preceded us into the spirit world. We cannot forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break, that we can not dissolve or free ourselves from. If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, shortsightedness, lack of inspiration and wisdom from time to time, how much more certain it is and reasonable and consistent to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond and are still engaged in the work for the salvation of the souls of men, the opening of the prison doors to them that are bound and proclaiming liberty to the captives who can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. They have advanced; we are advancing; we are growing as they have grown; we are reaching the goal that they have attained unto; and therefore, I claim that we live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; they can comprehend better than ever before, the weaknesses that are liable to mislead us into dark and forbidden paths. They see the temptations and the evils that beset us in life and the proneness of mortal beings to yield to temptation and to wrong doing; hence their solicitude for us and their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves." - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1916, p.3

"I believe that it is the intention of our Heavenly Father to keep us mindful of Him and of His purposes, and that one of His great designs towards us is that we shall not become proud and lifted up in our own conceit and in our own strength and wisdom and knowledge.  I believe it is good for this people to learn to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in everything, for He has said that He is only displeased with those who are not willing to acknowledge His hand in all things.  It may sometimes seem difficult to discern the hand of the Lord in the circumstances that transpire around us; but if we will take a proper view of our situation, and of our calling and of the nature of the work that we are engaged in I believe that it will not be difficult for us while we possess the spirit of the Lord to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all things.  Surely He is supreme.  He is above us, and he is Almighty; he has all knowledge and all wisdom and He knoweth the end from the beginning, and He has set His hand to accomplish His purposes in this dispensation." - Joseph F. Smith, "Perfection in the First Principles of the Gospel," Sunday, November 1, 1891

"The only real danger that I foresee in the path of the Latter-day Saints is in the results which naturally follow the possession of wealthpride and vanity, self-indulgence and forgetfulness of God, and a disregard of the sacred obligations and duties that we owe to Him and to one another; and this because of the abundance of earthly blessings which He in His goodness has bestowed upon us. It is said that in adversity we are inclined to feel after the Lord, but that in prosperity we remember Him not. It appears to me that in this lies the greatest danger that threatens us to-day." - Joseph F. Smith, "Journal of Discourses," 26 vols., 24:174-176

"Did you ever see anybody who went in debt and mortgaged and bonded that which he possessed, as free, as independent, as happy as the man who paid for what he had as he went along? We should live according to our means, and lay a foundation upon which we can build, and upon which our children can build after us, without paying interest on bonded debts incurred by us. I am aware that I am not preaching the financial gospel of the world. I suppose I am laying myself open to the charge of being called a mossback, non-progressive, and so on. All these epithets are hurled at the men that dare to tell the people to live within their means. … Sometimes we are put in a position where it is necessary to go into debt. When it is necessary, so may it be. … But I have never yet been convinced that it was essential for the welfare of the present or future generation that my children should be brought in bondage by my acts." - Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith, p.163

“There are limits in our recreations beyond which we cannot safely go. They should be guarded in character and curtailed in frequency to avoid excess. They should not occupy all, nor even the greater part of our time; indeed, they should be made incidental to the duties and obligations of life, and never be made a controlling motive or factor in our hopes and ambitions.” – “Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith,” p. 371

“It is frequently said that order is the first law of heaven.  I wish to put this in a different light.  Order in the Church is the result of obedience to the laws of God and to the discipline which He has established among men.  My opinion is that obedience, which one of the ancient prophets said was ‘better than sacrifice,’ is the first law of heaven–if there can be any law called the first or above all others.  Without obedience there can be no order, no discipline, no government.  The will of God cannot be done, either in the heavens or on the earth, except men will obey the will of the Father.  And when men obey the will of the Father, order is the result.  Confusion ceases, and peace is made to prevail, when men yield obedience to the requirements of the Father, or to the laws of God.  Discipline is that practice which is necessary to bring men and women into an understanding of the laws and requirements of God; or, it is that condition which will exist when men understand the laws of God and yield obedience to them.” – Joseph F. Smith, Utah Stake Conference, Sunday, April 19, 1896

“There are a great many things that we can do on the Sabbath day that would entertain, interest, and instruct our children at home, between the hours of service. ... Let them have amusements at the proper time, but let them be taught better things on the Sabbath day.” – “Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith,” p. 230

“We are seeking to build up and to establish righteousness in the hearts of the people, and I want to see you, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, male and female, so industrious, so active in the discharge of your duties as Latter-day Saints, so humble, so submissive to the will of the Lord that you will not have time to spend in magnifying the weaknesses, the follies and the faults of your neighbors and of your fellow members of the Church. The Lord knows there is evil enough said in the world thoughtlessly; and without any particular intent to do wrong, but merely through the weakness of men to talk, talk, talk and say nothing–let us work and not talk.” - Joseph F. Smith, “Conference Report,” October 1911, p. 10

"The greatest achievement mankind can make in this world is to familiarize themselves with divine truth, so thoroughly, so perfectly, that the example or conduct of no creature living in the world can ever turn them away from the knowledge that they have obtained. 'In the footsteps of the Master,' the greatest of all the teachers that this world has ever received, is the safest and surest course to pursue that I know of in the world. We can absorb the precepts, the doctrines and the divine word of the Master, without any fear that the exemplar will fail of carrying out and executing his own precepts and fulfilling his own doctrines and requirements."
- "Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith," p. 39

"I do not want this congregation, or any of the congregations of the Latter-day Saints, to conceive the idea, or to entertain it for one moment, that the true and living God—the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—who so loved the world that he sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, to bleed, to die, and to be sacrificed for the sin of the world, the Father of our spirits, he who loves his children, is in any degree responsible for the carnage, the bloodshed, the crime and the infamy that is today being perpetrated because of war, or any other cause, throughout the world. God is not responsible for it. I want you to let this sink into your hearts and remember it. God does not design wickedness or crime in the midst of his children, neither is he the cause of it. One of the apostles said: 'Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.' The Lord God Almighty has no pleasure whatever in the nations of the earth contending one with another and destroying themselves. All this is contrary to the will of God, contrary to his purposes, and contrary to his love, and to the very nature of the true and the living God. He loveth his children; he desires them to have life everlasting and not death. I pity the expressions that I have heard so many times in the public print from ignorant preachers and some poor mothers whose sons have been sacrificed at the front: 'Why does God permit it? Why has God permitted my son to be slain? Why does God permit the war that is existing today in all the nations of the earth?' The answer is: Because the nations of the earth, together with their leaders, exercise their freedom, the freedom of their agency, to pursue their wicked course, which results in war and in the death and destruction that is being perpetrated today throughout the nations of the earth. The Lord has no pleasure in it, and I do not want the Latter-day Saints to conceive the idea that God is responsible, or to charge him with the crime of desiring the destruction of his children. It is not true!" - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1918, Afternoon Session, p. 170

"Brethren and sisters, Latter-day Saints, listen to the counsel of the Lord. What matter if we be but few? If every man at this conference, if every Latter-day Saint listening to this conference, would go out and see to it that he made of himself a center from which went out the testimony of the truth, we could accomplish miracles. Let no Latter-day Saint, who has raised his hand to sustain the prophets of the Lord, permit himself ever to depart from that instruction. Let him challenge any faultfinding and let him champion the truth." - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," April 1945, Afternoon Meeting, p. 159

We are the children of God, literally. That being the case, God's word should be uppermost in our minds in trying to bring about worth-while government. Until we as a people in particular, and the sons and daughters of God in general, realize that our civil governments will be failures so long as they are not based upon divine guidance, so long will we continue to have strife, conflict, and bloodshed. - Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, October 1943, Evening Meeting, p.77

The new year and future years invite the inhabitants of all lands to unite in the establishment of peace and the realization of universal brotherhood. Strife, enmity, selfishness, immorality are evils to be eradicated from the individual life. No one is too lowly or insignificant to help. Let each man love his neighbor as himself and the present tragedies will pass away, future terrors will be averted, and "every man in every place will meet a brother and a friend." - Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith, p.399

It is very easy sometimes for Latter-day Saints to say, "What I do is my own business. If I break the Word of Wisdom a little bit, that's my business." There is no such thing as strictly private conduct. A Latter-day Saint, in a careless moment, may perform a thoughtless act which will stand in the way of someone else's accepting the gospel. I know of one little branch in the mission field that had been built up laboriously, and that little branch was all but destroyed by a careless act of a thoughtless missionary. It is well for us to take careful stock of any projected action, no matter how seemingly trivial, and ask ourselves. "If I do this, if anybody sees me do this, will it discourage his faith in the gospel of Christ?” - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," October 1945, Afternoon Meeting, p. 33

It is our privilege and right to determine by the Spirit of God between the right and the wrong, between that which will build up and sustain the work of the Lord in the earth and that which in its nature will tend to disintegrate and destroy or to divide the people of God in the earth. Every member of the Church should be deeply interested in the welfare of the whole Church. - Joseph F. Smith, "Conference Report," October 1898, Afternoon Session

We have a glorious destiny before us; we are engaged in a glorious work. It is worth all our attention, it is worth our lives and everything the Lord has put into our possession, and then ten thousand times more. Indeed, there is no comparison, it is all in all, it is incomparable. It is all that is and all that ever will be. The gospel is salvation, and without it there is nothing worth having. – Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith,” p.241

Men cannot forgive their own sins; they cannot cleanse themselves from the consequences of their sins. Men can stop sinning and can do right in the future, and so far their acts are acceptable before the Lord and worthy of consideration. But who shall repair the wrongs they have done to themselves and to others, which it seems impossible for them to repair themselves? By the atonement of Jesus Christ the sins of the repentant shall be washed away; though they be crimson they shall be made white as wool [see Isaiah 1:18]. This is the promise given to you. – “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith,” Chapter 11

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